By Monica Vendituoli
The University of Connecticut announced on Friday that it would pay nearly $1.3-million to settle a federal lawsuit filed by five current and former female undergraduates who claimed that it had mishandled heir complaints of sexual assault.
University administrators did not admit to any wrongdoing in the settlement agreement, but Connecticut did outline several steps it said it would take to address sexual violence on the campus, including establishing a new assistant deanship for victim support and forming a victims unit in the campus police department.
The settlement comes as colleges are confronting their legal responsibilities to investigate and resolve reports of sexual violence, under pressure from activists and federal officials. Senator Claire McCaskill, a Missouri Democrat, has said she plans to introduce legislation calling for improvements in colleges’ responses to cases of sexual assault.